Observation Peak

Two years ago today we adopted Codi and entered the crazy world of “rescue dog”.  Learning all of his quirks and trying to teach him that it’s okay to trust people has been a challenge at times.  He has definitely come a long way in 24 months though.  He’s still got some strange quirks, but nothing that we can’t manage.

We decided to celebrate his adoption day by taking him on a hike.  Because there is nothing better in life than a tired dog!  Mia and I spent about an hour scouring the hiking books we have Saturday night.  We wanted something in the 8ish  mile range, views, maybe some water for Codi to play in.  We found all of that in the Observation Peak hike.  So for full disclosure, generally when I read hike descriptions and there are words like “popular”, “short”, “crowded”, those are the hikes we try to avoid.  However when there is an option B to one of those hikes and it includes words like “longer”,  “steep”, “remote”, I will hands down choose that option.  Not sure when or where this all started, but I did this with quite of few of my NH 4K footers too.

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Our starting point, Mia fills out the wilderness permit

While a lot of my friends in the area are all racing cyclocross, the fall months to me and Mia mean hiking.  I just love getting out into the woods this time of year.  The temps are cooler, the summer crowds gone,  it’s just a great time of the year to be in the woods.  In today’s 8.6 mile hike we didn’t see another soul, no one, nada, zilch, zero.  I was actually very surprised.

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0.2 miles in and we need to stop for our first creek crossing/swim session

The trail started out at just about 1,550′ elevation.  I knew the summit was around 4K and that it was in the 4ish mile range.  That meant elevation gain, and lots of it.  The first 0.2 miles is nice and flat, we crossed the creek and then UP for a long time.  We had maybe 2 or 3 tenths of a mile that were flat up towards the 3.5 mile mark.  Otherwise it was very much upwards.

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Trail conditions were great
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Berry Camp at the intersection of Big Hollow and Observation trails
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less than a mile to go
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celebrating another year and another hike

It was a mostly cloudy day today, so no great views of Rainier, Adams, St. Helens.  The views were still stellar though.

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Just me, Mia and Codi enjoying some solitude
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Mia, Queen of the Hill today

We made awesome time back to the car.  I think we made it down almost 40 minutes faster than we made it up.  Total elevation gain was over 2,850′.  Not a bad day.

Thanks for reading,

-Pete

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